Background: Research to understand predictors of poor outcomes after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) has largely focused on presurgery factors. We examined whether pain and function 3-month postsurgery were predictive of longer-term outcomes ascertained 2 years after TKA. Methods: Western Ontario McMaster University Osteoarthritis Index pain and physical function scores (scaled 0-20 and 0-68; higher = worse) were recorded pre-TKA and 3, 12, and 24 months post-TKA. A sequential series of regression models was used to examine the relative contribution of baseline score and baseline to 3-month and 3 to 12-month change score to explaining variability (R2) in 2-year pain and function scores, with consideration for presurgery covariates. Results: Data from 560 patients were analyzed. Mean pain and function scores improved significantly presurgery to 2 years postsurgery; 10-4 and 33-16 (P <.001), respectively. Considerable variability in 2-year scores was observed. Overall, 80.3% and 79.9% of changes in pain and function scores over the 2 years occurred within the first 3 months. Change over these 3 months explained the greatest proportion of variability in 2-year scores, 16% and 23% for pain and function, respectively. The influences of these early changes were similar to those of baseline status. Conclusion: Changes in patient-reported pain and function occurring within the first 3 months post-TKA strongly determine pain and function status at 2 years. Research to identify pre-/intra-/early postoperative factors associated with change in this early postoperative period that may be amenable to modification or used to better inform education and decision-making is warranted.
- early recovery
- knee arthroplasty
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine